Windows 10: Usage Guidelines

After upgrading to Windows 10, here is what I found. Read these guidelines when you upgrade. It will save you some confusion and smoothen out the migration.


These guidelines are based upon my personal preferences. You may want to understand the underlying concept and tweak it to your style of working.

These guidelines are given in the order in which I experienced them.

Everything is faster

This is a general observation. But with the same hardware and programs loaded, every action does feel faster. Will update this after a month of real usage.

Indexing takes time. Keep the machine ON for one night

Search index is a technical thing which makes searching for files, emails, OneNote notes, pictures, etc. very fast. When you upgrade to Windows 10, it has to look at each of these items and build a new index. This takes time. In fact, it requires DEDICATED time. That means you should leave the PC on overnight and then it should be done.

How do you know ? Go to Control Panel – Indexing Options. It should show Indexing Complete. If it shows some number there, the indexing is still going on.

What’s new is not particularly impressive

I have seen the “New” features. But if you compare the number of features added between any past upgrades, the list is definitely smaller. Of course, there are groundbreaking changes to application architecture, device support and so on. But from a pure end user point of view, I was not impressed.

Reduced functionality

Useful functionality from pervious version is REMOVED in many cases. For example, if you go to the Start menu and do a search, in Windows 7, right clicking on the search results provided many features. Now there is only one option available – Open Containing Folder Sad smile

Disable Live Tiles

I don’t’ like those tiles and definitely not live tiles. I find them distracting. Right click on them to stop the Live nature of the tiles. Unfortunately, I have not found a way to disable Live Tiles as a feature globally. If you know how to do it, please post it as a comment.


Adjust the taskbar to your liking

Your base taskbar should remain but there may be additions. Remove the unwanted ones. I removed Cortana and the Task View icons. Both of them have shortcuts. Cortana is Windows C and Task View is Windows and Tab. No need to waste space for them.

Cortana is nice

It does require some patience to get results, but we are going in the right direction. This is a more humanized version of the good old (or rather bad old clippy).

Use Internet Explorer 11

I tried Edge. It feels faster. But it does not support any add-ins (extensions). My entire life depends upon password manager called LastPass. This does not work in Edge. So I am going to use the good old IE. Edge did not import my favorites. I feel it should have done it.

No way to say “I will download updates”

At least I have not found it. Earlier I could choose when to check and apply updates. Now I cannot do that. It downloads updates forcibly. May be I am missing some setting but as of now it is a problem for me. I am always on stage.

It does download on metered connections. But often, I am on stage coaching people. Therefore, performance of my demos, download and uploads is very important. I also use Skype for Business for remote consulting and coaching. Again I don’t want bandwidth to be hogged by downloads.

So I guess I will have to mark all connections as Metered to prevent this from happening.

Taskbar buttons are ambiguous

Earlier, taskbar icons had clear visual appearance to indicate whether the application is open and whether there are one or more windows open within it. Now there is an underline below it. If the underline has two sections that means multiple documents are open. Confusing and ambiguous. Did not like it at all. Here I have put a black border to make it visible. In spite of that it is quite ambiguous. Only the currently active windows has a different background (Outlook in this case).

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Multiple desktops

Not a new concept. But very useful. Requires getting used to. You can easily get lost between multiple desktops. If you have multiple desktops, remember two keyboard shortcuts.

Windows Ctrl Right arrow will go to Desktop on the right. Left arrow also works. This is more convenient than pressing Windows Tab or the Task View button and navigating desktops with mouse.

That’s all for now. I will update this article as I get more experience with the new OS.

3 thoughts on “Windows 10: Usage Guidelines”

  1. Hello Doc.,
    Just wanted to know if Windows 7 or 8.1 indexing works same like the Windows Search Tool for Windows XP. We are used to that tool which helps us to locate any file, no matter how much time older but fetches it based even on a sentence somewhere on one of the pages of that file. Also, it gives us options to look into the type of file like Word, Excel and so on. Haven’t really found something like this in Windows 7 yet. Just in case if you know, could you please help me with it. Ready to upgrade to Windows 8.1 if something like this works out there. Also, Windows XP Search Tool indexes even the mapped vetworked drives, Win7 doesn’t :-(
    Any comments…

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